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September 2011  Issue 105

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  2010 Index   2011 Index

 

MESSAGE FROM THE STAFF

Well, it looks like we got through August with no real storms, let alone hurricanes.  Interestingly enough, we sat by at the beach bar under nice tropical and balmy Caribbean Sea breezes, while the whole northeast coast of the US – all the way up to Boston and New England - hunkered down as Hurricane Irene headed their way.  As Irene bore down on New York, Akumal was experience a two week span of really terrific weather.

The low season officially is here, as defined by the Mexican kids going back to school, and the closing of Lol Ha Restaurant and dinner at Turtle Bay Café.

The last three Friday nights at the beach bar were somewhat sparsely populated by locals, but watch out for this Friday.  It is September 2nd, the first Friday of the month, and the “Robin’s Best Shirt Award” night, and this is going to be a real good one, as we have contestants from as far away as Doha, State of Qatar.

Speaking of the “Best Shirt Award”, go to June Best Shirt and All Best Shirt Winners and see if you can identify the simple changes that were made to a photo in each one.

September is busy as usual, what with Labor Day in the U.S. and Independence Day in Mexico, to say nothing of Robin’s “Best Shirt Award”, the U.S. Open, Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, and the Autumnal Equinox.  Come on down!
 

DID YOU KNOW?

We hear so much about health insurance and coverage (or lack thereof) in the United States, we thought we would pass along this health tip.

Thanks to Cristina.

SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS 

Birthday Cake With BalloonsBirthdays and Anniversaries
2          Cristina Sebe 
3          Gary Clements
5          Claudia Tolenterio
7          Scott Brown
10        Cheryl McClendon
12        Frank Hatch
12        Steve & Sharon Wandler Anniversary
14        Marry Henderson
14        Gabi Orvananos
15        Elsie Bush
16        Jen Smith
16        Shari Stern
16        Jackie Power
17        Kathleen Cole
18        Denny & Diane Mahan Anniversary
18        Dave & Laura Bush Wolfe Anniversary
23        Valerie Nejame
24        Lauren Haynes
25        Macon Gravlee 
25        Janet Thurber
27        Ryan Fredette
27        Robert Fredette
30        Richard Pargot
30        David Daniell

 There must be more than this.  Let’s hear about YOUR birthday before it happens.

 Missed August Birthdays and Anniversaries
 

KEEP DODGING THE TROPICAL STORMS

 Tropical Storm Irene went across the eastern Caribbean in late August, and then it went up the east coast as a category 3 hurricane.

 Prior to Irene, Tropical Depression Harvey made landfall as a tropical storm on Saturday (August 20) afternoon along the coast of Belize and continued to weaken over land.  Heavy rainfall was across Guatemala, northern Honduras, and southern Mexico (including the Yucatan Peninsula).
 

IMPORTANT SEPTEMBER FACTS

In Latin, septem means "seven" and septimus means "seventh"; September was in fact the seventh month of the Roman calendar until 153 BC.

Virgo - August 24 – September 23

Libra - September 23 - October 23

September Birthstone: Sapphire
     
Sapphire is the modern September birthstone and is a variety of the mineral species corundum.  Sapphires occur in all colors of the rainbow with the exception of red, which is rusapphireby.  The name corundum comes from the ancient Sanskrit "kuruvindam", while the name "Sapphire" comes from the Persian word "safir", meaning "beloved of Saturn", (or Greek sapphiros).

September Birthday Flower: Aster
     
The September birthday flower is the aster, which is often used to accent different types of mixed flower arrangements.  In addition to representing daintiness, asters are also known as a symbol of love.
 

AKUMAL COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING, AUGUST 12th 

On Friday, August 12, 2011, the Akumal Council had a General Meeting at CEA, and considering the time of the year, the meeting was very well attended by more than 20 interested parties.  This was defined as  an informal meeting to provide updates on what is happening and share among the community.  The Akumal Council reported on recent activities in Akumal, including progress on the road, new initiatives with publicity, and recent events with security! 

Be aware and advised that the Akumal Council (David Poor) distributed a very comprehensive report on the proceedings of this meeting, but they have not been posted to the Akumal Council’s web site at www.akumalcouncil.com.  If you were not on that distribution list, please contact the Akumal Council at info@akumalcouncil.com

What is here should not be construed as being Meeting Minutes.  It is just a ‘report’ on what The Akumalian Staff thought what was said. 

             Akumal Road Update
            The first order of business was to acknowledge the work and effort that NARC, Russ Motley and Rhett Schober, had put into making the new North Akumal road a reality.  Russ provided some additional information on the road:

·         He acknowledge Din Richards and her contribution to the road

·         Around Yal-Ku “will be difficult”; 5.5 mtrs wide with room for pedestrian walk

·         Want to get the worst sections done before rainy season

·         Acknowledge Neil and Gonzalo for doing their sections themselves, and putting in pedestrian walkway

·         Neil reports that 3 other houses in that section will also do the pedestrian walkway

·         Paul Sanchez-Navarro makes note to proceed with caution on land across the road if you do not own it

·         Neil (Casa Rosa) also wanting to do series of road signs, but there seemed to be a consensus that they would eliminate some of the casual charm of Akumal

 Promotion of Akumal
   
Dan Freeman & Dave Zucker are the Web Site Committee, and they are developing non-commercial pages/stories on Akumal Bay, Yal-Ku, Maya Sites nearby, Weddings, Fishing, SCUBA Diving, Golf, etc.

·         Web site is not available yet.

·         Need help on developing additional pages

·         Question on other languages?  Need volunteers to translate.

 Events Committee
        
Juan Antonio Huerta is heading this up.

·         He spoke about the success of the recent 5K and 10K races

·         Working on an Events Calendar for one year

·         Plan to do a triathlon next year

·         Looking at things like a Halloween Party, bringing back the Stand-up Comics

·         Paul Sanchez-Navarro mentioned the Turtle Festival in October, with the closing on the 16th in Akumal

 Coordination of Akumal’s Security

·         David Poor mentioned that Juan Antonio is officially responsible for the coordination of Akumal’s Security

·         Juan Antonio says this is from the arch into Akumal Central and North

·         Outside the arch is the responsibility of the municipality

·         Laura Bush is still the chairperson for the Akumal Security Committee

 Regularization

·         It seems as this is raising its ugly head again

·         Paul Sanchez-Navarro mentioned he had a meeting with a person from the Municipality about regularization in Akumal

·         Paul is asking for what he means, in writing

·         Paul thinks he might just want to be hired as a consultant

 Gardening of the Akumal Entrance

·         Enrique Torres is responsible for the coordination of the gardeners to clean up and garden the entrance outside the arch, around the parking lot

·         A number of homeowners have donated the use of their gardeners for this

·         CEA and Juan Antonio have a bodega for storing tools, etc.

·         This project is looking for plants

 

SCOTT BROWN & MARIEKE WHITE WEDDING, AUG. 17 

            It was a bright, sunny, hot day in Akumal, and Scott & Marieke were married out by the cannons.  Check out Scott & Marieke Wedding for photos of this well attended event.
 

MINOR METEOR SHOWERS IN SEPTEMBER 

Sporadic meteor activity is high in September, but will not be as many as for August.  The more reliable minor showers include

·         the Alpha Aurigids (continuing from August),

·         the Beta Cassiopeids (max Sep 1-6, radiant 00h05m, +63),

·         the Epsilon Perseids (max Sep 3-7, radiant 04h10m, +37),

·         the Delta Aurigids (max Sep 8, radiant 04h00h, Dec +47) and

·         the Piscids (max Sep 8-9, radiant 00h36m, +07 ; max Sep 21, radiant 00h24m, +00).

 

U.S. OPEN FINALS, Aug. 29 – Sept. 11th

The 2011 US Open will be played August 29 – September 11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.  Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn $1.8 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.8 million potential payout) based on their performances in the Olympus US Open Series.  The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Mercedes-Benz USA.

Leading the entry list is world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who will be seeking his first US Open title after reaching the final in 2010.  Djokovic won the 2011 Australian Open and Wimbledon titles, and following his win at Wimbledon became the first player other than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to be ranked No. 1 on the ATP World Tour since Andy Roddick in 2003.

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal enters as the defending US Open champion and is seeking his 11th career Grand Slam singles title after winning the 2011 French Open.

World No. 3 Roger Federer is seeking his sixth US Open title which would surpass Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors for most U.S. Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era.  In 2007, Federer became the only man to win the Olympus US Open Series and US Open titles in the same year.

In many ways, this year’s Open bears little resemblance to the tournament started 128 years ago.  It has evolved from an exclusive men's singles and doubles tournament in 1881 to a two-week sports and entertainment extravaganza, changing its name from the U.S Championships to the US Open and its location from Rhode Island to Pennsylvania to its current home in Flushing, N.Y.
 

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD, SEPTEMBER 2nd

Come one, come all, to the Beach Bar, where we’ll have a ball.

It’s time for another “Best Shirt Award”, which is held on the first Friday of each month during Happy Hour at the Lol Ha Beach Bar. 

This award is based on Robin’s penchant for good, classy Beach Bar shirts, and The Akumalian Staff is scheduled to be part of the Judging Committee as Mary initiated a new rule: “Winner has to be a judge the following month”.  And, as we go to print the criteria are still somewhat nebulous, and they seem to be changing as we move into fall.

The August competition drew a huge number of contestants, and there was a real good selection of competing shirts, making it very difficult for the judges.  However, Steve Clouther pulled out a surprise victory from the very colorful field.  See the photos at August Best Shirt for more photos.

 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

Comings:
·        
Frank Hatch was back at Casa del Sol.
·        
Bob & Sherwood Anders are back.
·        
Tom Baxter was down to check his construction progress
·        
Ken & June Sloan, Ron Stern, Annie & John Hoffman, and Jody Allen were in Playa Caribe for the Home Owner’s Association meeting.
·        
John & Sharon Winkel, new owners of Playa Caribe #9 were here too.
·        
Suzy Campbell was also back in town at the Reef.
·        
Richard & Arlene Pargot returned to Las Vigas for a week of R&R
·        
Diana Harris was also seen around town.
·        
Macon & Susan Gravlee were observed entering South Akumal.

 Goings
Who wants to go north where all that bad weather is?
 

HST FLY-OVER, SEPTEMBER 3rd 

It has been awhile since The Akumalian was able to report a fly-over of either the ISS (International Space Station) or the HST (Hubble Space Telescope) but we have one coming this weekend.  On Saturday, September 3, the HST will fly over Akumal in a WSW – ENE track at exactly 9:42pm.

 

 

 

LABOR DAY, SEPTEMBER 5th

Labor Day is a United States federal holiday that takes place on the first Monday of September; i.e. September 5th .

The origins of the American Labor Day can be traced back to the Knights of Labor in the United States and a parade organized by them on September 5, 1882 in New York City.  They were inspired by an annual labor parade held in Toronto, Canada.  In 1884 another parade was held, and the Knights passed resolutions to make this an annual event.  Other labor organizations (and there were many), but notably the affiliates of the International Workingmen's Association favored a May 1 holiday.  With the event of Chicago's Haymarket riots in early May of 1886, president Grover Cleveland believed that a May 1 holiday could become an opportunity to commemorate the riots - May 1st is also the high holy day of communism or Marxism.  Thus, fearing that it might strengthen the socialist movement, he quickly moved in 1887 to support the position of the Knights of Labor and their date for Labor Day.

Labor Day has been celebrated on the first Monday in September in the United States since the 1880s.  The September date has remained unchanged, even though the government was encouraged to adopt May 1 as Labor Day, the date celebrated by the majority of the world.  Moving the holiday, in addition to breaking with tradition, could have been viewed as aligning the U.S. labor movements with internationalist sympathies.

Labor Day is generally regarded simply as a day of rest and, unlike May Day, political demonstrations are rare.  Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays, water activities, and public art events.  Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer.  Some teenagers and young adults view it as the last weekend for surfing parties before returning to school.
 

NATIONAL GRANDPARENT’S DAY, SEPTEMBER 11th 

The impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia.  Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes.  She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide.

President Jimmy Carter, in 1978, proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. 

Ryan Fredette’s grandparents will be celebrating without him in Akumal, but they will be there with him in Massachusetts for his 18th birthday, later in the month.

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

 North Akumal Road
     
There’s not too much to say here, other than progress continues to be made on a daily basis.  NARC is staying on top of the project and keeping after those owners who still continue to refuse to pay for their section of the road.

 Lol Ha Restaurant
     
The Lol Ha Restaurant is closed for the months of September and October.  However, they will have some of the restaurant’s dinners, including the prime rib, on Thursday and Friday, out at the south side of the Snack Bar.

Turtle Bay Café Closed for Dinner
Friday, August 19, was Turtle Bay Café’s last evening of serving dinner before closing (dinner only) for the low season.  TBC remains open for breakfast and lunch.

 Gynn’AK Is Now Open
Gynna Sainz reports that Gynn’AK is now open.  The Juice Bar is open from 7:00am to 1:00pm for the early morning walkers, runners, and (tope) hurdlers, with 1 liter costing $30 pesos.  Then, from 1:00 – 3:00pm there is Comida Corrida c/Bebida para llevar for $50 pesos.  Locals need to ask for the Local’s Discount.

 Home Insurance
      
For some of us, it’s that time of the year.  Casa Colibri was recently renewed (with Luis Lobo and AXA) and the policy and premium stayed exactly the same as last year. 

TULUM

 Newly Released Book by Moe Mulrooney/ Mari Pintkowski
      
Moe reports that her new book: Shifting Gears: A Journey of Reinventionis now available for purchase on www.amazon.com in paperback, hard cover ($14.73), and Kindle ($7.00).  In the book, Moe addresses the question, “Have you ever wondered if a solo adventure could open the doors to self-discovery and guide you to a new way of life?”  Learn how one man’s solo 4,000 mile bicycle journey did just that.

            In this book, you will read about:
·        
Cycling through the west toward the Pacific
·        
Battling the elements using limited resources
·        
Midlife romance: from a solo experience to a family affair
·        
Stories of the early days in the ski towns of Vail and Aspen
·        
Retiring in a foreign country
·        
How the past can influence the future
·        
The magic of stories
 

FULL MOON, SEPTEMBER 12th

The Full Harvest Moon is on September 12, 04:26:42 am AST, and it is always the full Moon occurring nearest to the Autumnal Equinox.  The Harvest Moon usually comes in September, but (on average) about every three or four years it will fall in early October.  At the peak of the harvest, Maya can work into the night by the light of this moon.  Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the Yucatan, and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much Central America. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice — the chief Mayan staples — are now ready for gathering.
 

MEXICO’S INDEPENDENCE DAY, SEPTEMBER 16th

The stage for the upheaval and dissatisfaction that gave rise to Mexican independence was set by political and economic changes in Europe and its American colonies of the late 18th and 19th centuries.  The French revolution and Napoleonic wars diverted attention of Spain from its colonies leaving a vacuum and increasing dissatisfaction and desire for local government.  The forced removal of Ferdinand VII from the Spanish thrown and his replacement by Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, presented opportunity for Mexican intelligentsia to promote independence in the name of the legitimate Spanish king. 

From its inception the colonial government of New Spain was dominated by Spanish born Peninsulares or Guachapins, who held most leadership positions in the church and government, in contrast to Mexican-born Criollos (Creoles) who were the ten to one majority.  Neither the Peninsulares nor upper class Criollos desired to involve the masses of native Indians and mestizos in government or moves for local control. 

In 1808, the Peninsulares learned of Viceroy Jose de Iturrigaray’s intent to form a junta with Creole factions, a move that he thought might make him King of an independent Mexican kingdom.  In an armed attack on the palace, Peninsulares arrested Iturrigaray and replaced him with puppet Pedro Garibay after which they carried out bloody reprisals against Criollos, who were suspected of disloyalty.  Although reform movements paused, political and economic instability in Europe continued as well as hardship and unrest in the Americas.

One liberal organization that was forced underground was the Literary Club of Queretaro which formed for intellectual discussion, but in practice became a planning organization for revolution.  Independence- and reform-oriented thinkers also began to consider enlisting the native Indian, mestizo and lower class masses in wresting control from the Peninsulares and in armed independence movements.  Queretaro was an important agricultural region that had suffered extensively by economic stalemate and failure.  An active member of the group was Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a well-educated liberal priest who questioned policies of the church including clerical celibacy, banning certain literature, infallibility of the pope and the virgin birth of Christ.  Hidalgo became the curator of Dolores in 1803 with primarily an Indian congregation whose languages he spoke and to whom he administered practical skills of life, as much as religious doctrine.  In Queretaro, Hidalgo met Capt. Ignacio Allende, a revolutionary thinker in the Spanish army.  In spring 1810, Allende and Hidalgo planned an uprising for December of the year that leaked out to Spanish authorities and their arrest was ordered.

In September 1810, Father Hidalgo was forced to prematurely distribute the Grito de Delores to his parishoners and nearby residents which was an appeal for social and economic reform.  With little organization and no training, essentially a mob of thousands of primarily Indians and mestizos overwhelmed royal forces in Guanajuato, and proceeded to murder and loot Peninsulares, Criollos and other "whites" in their path.  The force continued to Mexico City and defeated royalist on the outskirts, but did not enter and occupy the city, after which the ragged revolutionary army returned home.

Hidalgo and his Creole officers were later able to assemble an army of 80,000 by payment with looted Peninsulare gold and assets.  Viceroy Francisco Javier Venegas, and his soon to be successor, Gen. Felix Maria Calleja del Rey, responded to the insurgency with a vengeance, and in January 1811 Hidalgo suffered a serious defeat outside Guadalajara where rebel forces were routed at Calderon Bridge.  Bloody retaliation followed by mass executions of suspected rebel sympathizers by Spanish crown forces under Viceroy Calleja del Rey.  Hidalgo and associates turned toward the northern provinces Nuevo Santander, Nuevo León, Coahuila and Texas for refuge, where local sympathy for the rebellion and independence continued. 

Royalist forces in Nuevo Santander refused to fight against the insurgents as well as troops under Governor Manuel Antonio Cordero y Bustamante in Coahuila.  As the royalist forces moved north to crush resistance, it was only in Coahuila and Texas that revolutionary events continued.  On 21 March 1811, a periodic rebel turned loyalist, Ignacio Elizondo, ambushed Ignacio Allende, Father Hidalgo and associates at the Wells of Bajan on the road to Monclova in Coahuila.  Hidalgo and associates were captured and executed in Chihuahua.

At the core of Mexican patriotism is Hidalgo's Grito de Dolores.  Every year, on the night of September 15-16, the President of the Republic "reenacts" the Grito on a balcony of the National Palace as the climax of the Independence Day celebrations.  To do this with historical accuracy is well-nigh impossible, for no one knows precisely what Hidalgo said.  The three principal contemporary reports fail to agree.  Sotelo's account, the most confused and least authoritative, stated that the Grito was a short speech, made from the window of the priest's house, to the first group of followers who assembled before dawn.  
 

AUTUMNAL EQUINOX, SEPTEMBER 23rd  

Autumnal Equinox (Fall) September 23, 2010 10:18pm AST

In the language of science, an equinox is either of two points on the celestial sphere where the ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect.  For the rest of us, it's one of two times a year when the sun crosses the equator, and the day and night are of approximately equal length.

At the autumnal equinox, the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, from north to south; this marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

The vernal equinox, also known as “the first point of Aries,” is the point at which the sun appears to cross the celestial equator from south to north.  This occurs about March 21, marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

On the date of either equinox, the sun is above the equator, and night and day are of approximately equal length; the word equinox is often used to refer to either of these dates.

The equinoxes are not fixed points on the celestial sphere but move westward along the ecliptic, passing through all the constellations of the zodiac in 26,000 years.  This motion is called the precession of the equinoxes.  The vernal equinox is a reference point in the equatorial coordinate system.

The Autumnal Equinox signals the end of the summer months and the beginning of winter.  At this time of year, days have been shortening since the Summer Solstice some three months earlier, and the Equinox is the point where nights reach the same length as days.  After this point, the Sun will shine lower and lower on the horizon until the Winter Solstice in about three months' time.
 

EQUINOX AT CHICHEN ITZA

Ancient stone masons built and aligned the Kukulkan pyramid centuries ago to project the sun's rays into a diamond-back rattlesnake of light and shadow.  On the morning and evenings of Equinox on September 22 and 23, thousands flock to Chichen Itza to view the same dramatic display.

In the fall the appearance is visible from mid August through mid October.

For optimum viewing of the serpent of light, be near the great courtyard which faces the western facet of the Kukulkan Pyramid beginning at about four in the afternoon.  The best viewing of the sight is from five days before until five days after Equinox.  Needless to say, accommodations fill up fast!  On the actual day of Equinox, people stake out their vantage point early in the day, as a great sea of humanity begins to deluge one of the great wonders of the world!
 

ROSH HASHANAH, SEPTEMBER 28 – 30th

Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri.  In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year."  Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year.  This name is somewhat deceptive, because there is little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, and the American midnight drinking bash and daytime football game.

There is, however, one important similarity between the Jewish New Year and the American one: Many Americans use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making "resolutions."  Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year.

The name "Rosh Hashanah" is not used in the Bible to discuss this holiday.  The Bible refers to the holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar).  The holiday is instituted in Leviticus 23:24-25.

The shofar is a ram's horn which is blown somewhat like a trumpet.  One of the most important observances of this holiday is hearing the sounding of the shofar in the synagogue.  A total of 100 notes are sounded each day.  There are four different types of shofar notes: tekiah, a 3 second sustained note; shevarim, three 1-second notes rising in tone, teruah, a series of short, staccato notes extending over a period of about 3 seconds; and tekiah gedolah (literally, "big tekiah"), the final blast in a set, which lasts 10 seconds minimum.  The Bible gives no specific reason for this practice. One that has been suggested is that the shofar's sound is a call to repentance.  The shofar is not blown if the holiday falls on Shabbat.

 No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah.  Much of the day is spent in synagogue, where the regular daily liturgy is somewhat expanded.  In fact, there is a special prayer book called the machzor used for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur because of the extensive liturgical changes for these holidays.

Another popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol of our wish for a sweet new year.

THE 21st 1ST ANNUAL IG NOBEL PRIZE CEREMONY, SEPT 29

Twenty-First 1st Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony is being held on Thursday, September 29, 2011.  

The name is a play on the word ignoble ("characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness") and the name "Nobel" after Alfred Nobel.  The official pronunciation used during the ceremony is /ˌɪɡnoʊˈbɛl/ "ig-no-bell".  It is not pronounced like the word "ignoble" (/ɪɡˈnoʊbəl/).

The Ig Nobel Prizes, which are handed out annually at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre by actual Nobel Prize laureates, were founded in 1990 in order to recognize scientific research that "first makes you laugh, then makes you think."  Conducted under the auspices of the scientific humor magazine "Annals of Improbable Research," the awards are intended to "celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology."

Winners of the 14th annual Ig Nobels in 2004 included the inventor of karaoke, the engineers who devised the "combover" hairdo, a girl who investigated the "five-second rule" commonly applied to dropped food, and researchers who discovered a connection between country music and suicide.

The Ig Nobel Prizes are organized by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research. The ceremony is co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Student, the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, and the Harvard Computer Society.

Improbable research is research that makes people laugh and then think.  Improbable Research is the name of the organization that collects (and sometimes conduct) improbable research.  They publish a magazine called the Annals of Improbable Research, and they administer the Ig Nobel Prizes.

Their goal is to make people laugh, then make them think.  They also hope to spur people's curiosity, and to raise the question: How do you decide what's important and what's not, and what's real and what's not — in science and everywhere else?

The 2010 Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded on Thursday night, September 30, at the 20th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard's Sanders Theatre.  The ceremony was webcast live on YouTube.  You can watch archived video.  Some of the 2010 winners include:

·         ENGINEERING PRIZE: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London, UK, and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico, for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.

·         MEDICINE PRIZE: Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, The Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride.

·         PHYSICS PRIZE: Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.

·         PEACE PRIZE: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.

·         BIOLOGY PRIZE: Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats. 

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but, 'That's funny..." —Isaac Asimov

"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." —Sherlock Holmes

 TICKETS are now on sale at the Harvard Box office, online, and by telephone (+1) 617-496-2222.

  

5.8 EARTHQUAKE IN VIRGINIA, AUGUST 23RD

Remember the headlines back on August 23?

A 5.8 Earthquake occurred 38 miles outside of Richmond, VA.

The way the east coast reacted to this caused a few chuckles from the people out west, especially Californians.  Here’s the way it was viewed.

 

 

 

EVENTS

There were some other Akumal "Events" in August besides the "Best Shirt Award", and they include:

·         Scott & Marieke’s Wedding

·         ONDARTE Showing and Reception

 

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